All These Separate Pieces

i.
My third toe on the left foot
dives into consciousness

of individuality. Where did she
find the tokens to buy into

this illusion, stepping out
from her cheerful center,

abandoning her task of anchor,
sick and tired of never

receiving appreciation? She’s
wriggling, impatient to be off

on her own.
I don’t know her plans.

ii.
Right now silver glimmering
the freshwater spring twirls

below as the surface quivers
from these caresses. Every breeze

kissing a new perspective.
In an hour or less, discordant

and choppy, white water
bluster is forecasted.

iii.

I’ve been too invested in ephemeral
lines, seeking control in borders,

creating patterns of similar
threads in the weave, ignorant

and worse, believing I know.
A referee calling out rules and

flagging the foul play, I frown
as bluebirds squabble with

house sparrows over the birdbox.
The oakleaf hydrangea’s creamy

cones are spreading fullblown into her
sister’s space, the greeny-white

snowballs a week behind.
The fragrant hosta’s filling

the watery air. We wait in the calm
for the next thunderstorm,

watching the cloud banks hoarding
and amassing power.

iv.

Going deep past the criticism
and the worry to find

sheer gratitude,
I sit astounded,

showing up, playing my small
part as the mystery unfolds.

Inspired by: Control, Referee, Ephemeral and Similar.

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The Harmony Within

For Rebecca

I wake up to layers of myself
emerging. A queen accepting

her just accolade, a wriggling
puppy ecstatic to be seen.

Shimmying in with a spangled
skirt and belly-dancer allure.

Wise and sexy, strong and smart.
Yesterday I created space

for each of them–of us–scanning
with a healer’s precision.

I interviewed an epic stream
of heroes demanding a sword,

a class, this daily practice and that
ritual. In one fell stroke, obliterating

my indecision of last week,
when a dearth of possibilities

convinced me to give up.
(Trauma’s brilliant way of

saying, hey.) And so I make
the call.  I ask for help loud

and proud. I just can’t solve
this one alone, under the heavy

blocks I finally feel. That weight
compelling me: run faster,

work harder, hellbent to ignore
the feeling that there’s not enough.

I’m not enough. I trace it
down to its base, the fear

it roots in. Nothing to do,
only to be aware. Allowing what

I could never digest in the past
to rumble into my listening.

Being present to the drumbeat
as the notes manifest.

I listen to the conductor until
with heart, I play my part.

Inspired by: Epic, Indecision, Dearth and Help.

Frogs Slowly Boiling

He’s destroyed the sparrow nest
and he leaves the detritus

piled beneath the bird box.
This morning I see feathers

weighted by raindrops to the wet
grass. I take inventory, six

of them plucked–from a kill?
Surely too many from preening.

I have found corpses–decay so foul
I gagged at ten yards–warming

their nests. Do they worship a god
who insists all this is theirs to

conquer, the lives they displace
have no worth? This malice is not

personal. It’s deep-seated elitism.
They casually kill the living beings

in their way, like colonists in
a new land, destroying the native

population with no remorse,
not even an inkling of the despair

their actions leave a trail
of destruction. My stance crunching

bones of the ones who came before,
I heed this niggling twinge,

the trace of my society’s crimes.
There is no peace here. In the tangled

roots of jealous acquisition,
we nurture the beast blindly

take comfort in the slow
poisoning of all we know.

Inspired by Jealous, Inventory, Peace and Nurture and the reason it’s unedited is because it’s written for the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt: leaves.  The rules are no editing, just write it and press publish.  So difficult to do!

The Horses Beggars Ride

These wishes for my children, I propose:

a calm lake ringed by ancient trees, 

mornings to unfold slow as a 

spectacular rose.  Clean air and 

the chance to inhale that sweetness

like a prayer or a song,

deliberate and strong.  Saying

a firm no when required to

sacrifice, demanding a delay

when urged to choose.

Moving from the heart’s

clear intention free-

way despite the mindless chatter.

Knowing the matter

from the space, the light

leading from dark places

—the ones to explore

weathering seasons to approach 

each exquisite opened door.

Inspired by:  Delay, Rose, Inhale and Sacrifice.

Essential Ingredient

If there is something in nature you don’t understand, odds are it makes sense in a deeper way that is beyond your understanding.

If you see fraud and don’t shout fraud, you are a fraud.~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Under a quivery yellow
poplar—liriodendrum

tulipifera—in this breeze,
lit by a sunbeam right before

the rain comes. Who can hear secrets?
What is the sound of a thousand

trembling leaves? A stage whisper
reaching into the receptive

cells that vibrate living. Can we
recognize the song cascading

past the stained-glass windows? In the
fastness, pious people kneel eyes

closed before their almighty white
patriarch, chanting, gulled and farmed

for their subservient tithing
to the very ones who kill the

sacred mother, dispossessed of
even her holy spirit. Saved

by random unrecognized
movers like this impossible

black swan, unpredictable
catastrophic consequences,

slipping into our collective
shadows unclaimed and unnamed—

look, just there in the blink
between dreams and soft waking.

There is no other place to go.
There is no better song than yours,

issuing right now off-key and
fun, original lilting you.

Written prompted by: Almighty, Original, Kneel and Farm.

Blame Game

I’m carmelizing veggies while
I sip this hot concoction: old-

style tisane of elder, pepper-
mint and yarrow, ginger, clove and

licorice, rose hip and hyssop,
cinnamon and honey. Bleary-

eyed in this damp morning, rain
and still more rain to come.

My grandson’s teenaged sibling’s chain
a gift, he brought this link to me.

This tardy attempt to nourish
since my efforts to admonish

cover your mouth, wash your hands
betrayed by a sneeze–bless you

–right in my face. He’s three, he’s
innocent, if we must label

our intentions. I’m emptying
a kleenex box, clearing my throat

and coughing, heavy sighs as I
negotiate my breath. And this

just in: my father is choking
from the garlic I am roasting,

past and future generations’
circling irritations, try to

name the source of pain: here, we claim,
it started here, it’s all your fault.

Inspired by: Admonish, Nourish, Label, Betray and Sibling.

I wish

Oh, daddy, so wise, you always knew
that if you mistreated any woman, you harmed

me, your beloved daughter. You presented
a C-note tip to every waitress, paid handsomely

all those who taught me. Your secretaries
drove luxury cars and sported designer

jeans. The women who toiled to clean
your home, you treated like royalty.

You preached fair exchange, devout
and dedicated to the females who

rocked your world. You even petitioned the
God to bring back the Goddess,

kicked out by that old white guy
in the sky now laughing, splashed in mud

by his earthy lover. You insisted
that my worth be known to all,

instead of gratis, you taught me
to negotiate a salary with aplomb

and absolute certainty my demands be met.
Model for every father, you gave

me this platform so firmly supported
that I extend my hands to every

woman on this patriarchal planet,
look where we are today,

celebrated and loved, thanks
to the utmost respect and

endless toil to secure our rights,
by these dear and loving fathers.

Inspired by: Insincere, Gratis, Daddy and Father.